Anyone who's used Sony's PlayStation Now service – or any platform that allows you to stream games over the internet – will be familiar with the frustration of your connection dropping out mid-session.
Starting today, PS Now will be allowing gamers to download titles from the service in order to play them offline, up to the same level of 4K resolution and 5.1 surround sound as streamed titles.
PS Now has hundred of titles available to stream over Wi-Fi or ethernet connection – Bloodborne, God of War 3, and DiRT Rally to name but a few – giving players a way to access AAA and indie titles without taking up precious hard drive space.
The feature is being rolled out to users during the remainder of September, so if you can't see the function in your PS Now app, it should be there in the next few days. Players will also need to connect online at least once a week to verify your subscription is still active – otherwise your downloaded games will return from whence they came.
Gently down the stream
PS Now's new downloads are a neat workaround for gamers wanting the ability to stream, but who appreciate the virtues of offline play that doesn't require forcing your housemates off Netflix to up your bandwidth speed.
Console makers Sony and Microsoft make no secret of their ambitions for cloud gaming, which moves the brunt of the processing work away from your console and onto their own servers, which in the long run could lead to simpler 'top box' consoles that require lower production costs. Microsoft are even rumored to be planning a cloud-only Xbox Scarlett Cloud gaming console as early as 2020.
Alongside this week's announcement of the PlayStation Classic mini console – a standalone mini console with 20 PS1 era games programmed in – it looks like Sony is doubling down hard on fan service before it hits the holiday period.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.